Wednesday, 22 July 2009
For the past two years July was the month for rafting down the Colorado River. We were guided by Canyon Explorations/Expeditions which I would recommend a hundred times a day, 365 days a year.
A few weeks ago I asked Steve what he thinks are the most beautiful places we've traveled to and in a heartbeat he said, 1) kayaking in Alaska, and 2) the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
Here you have this river flowing through layers upon layers of time, basically--since each layer of rock represents different geologic periods. As the days on a river trip pass you see the canyon walls become higher and higher, more and more layered. And beyond the walls are hidden little magical places--maybe a side canyon, maybe a hike to a lookout, maybe a series of cascading pools of water, maybe a spring, maybe a place called The Throne Room (p.s. these next two pictures are not The Throne Room, but they're nirvana nonetheless).
And then the pure fun you have, the camradarie you share--moments spent alternating between the adrenaline rush of a rapid, to playing that's what she said or would you rather in the calmer water. Watergun fights against other rafts. Shrieking with joy while sliding down the turquoise Little Colorado River's smooth rocks. Pushing each other out of the raft and into the frigid water that will leave you gasping for breath. Playing rodeo girl; that's when you stand at the helm of the raft and your buds paddle in circles until, drunk with dizziness, you fall into the water. Drinking too much of my boxed wine at the end of every beautiful day. Needing liquid courage to get into the river and bathe yourself because damn, I'm starting to stink.
Seeing these pictures is a little bittersweet. Sweet because I already know those were some of the best moments of my life. When my life is coming to an end and I start having the quick-time flashbacks of wonderful moments like you see in the movies, I know the summer of 2007 and 2008 will be there. Bitter because these pictures depict a very different July than the one we're presently having, spent in room 3106, watching my love not be able to so much as cough without having excruciating head pain. But I know this too shall pass. One day we'll be back on the Colorado, showing our little childrensies the awesomeness of sleeping tent-less (you'll see the stars, plus it's way too hot) and watching them get wide-eyed the first time they scout Hance Rapid. I won't even mention Lava Falls, they'll have to find out for themselves.